Something about the holidays makes me emotional, and not the one-tear-running-down-my-face kind of emotional. No, I cry like I’m watching Dumbo when the mother swings him in her trunk while she’s locked in a cage. I cry like THAT.
Any commercial with a Clydesdale sends me through an entire box of tissues. A family picture from friends in faraway places makes me nostalgic. Peppermint Hershey Kisses make me smile for a minute, but then I remember eating chocolate Kisses while decorating our fake tree growing up, and I go all Dumbo again.
Santa Claus definitely made me cry when I was young (who tells children to avoid strangers while plopping you on the lap of one?). He makes me cry today for a different reason, and I’m not sure what it is. Perhaps I worry about his employment opportunities for the rest of the year.
I could say that the holidays are tough because as a preacher’s family this season was the most exhausting time of year for us. Do you know how many carolers come to the preacher’s house to sing? A lot.
But I think it’s more than that. . .
I believe there’s something about the dark December mornings and evenings that stir my soul. The blanket of those ebony skies cause me to think about deeper things — like people who don’t have a home, or a family, or their next meal.
I think some of my tears are expressions of joy – like the one experienced on a day when everything is new and not one Mastercard bill has arrived. And I get to eat all the bacon I want because it’s Christmas.
Most of all, I think the holidays remind me of the small miracles that have changed the world. They remind me of a light in the sky that is always there, just waiting to provide us with peace.
On a clear December evening . . .
I can look up to the skies and know that this life isn’t about purchases, or television shows, or cars, or terrorists, or drugs, or achievement, or even bacon. On a clear night, as I look into the vast galaxy, I remember that we are all composed of eternity. That we feel most at home when we are joining hands with the people around us.
That skin color, and religious differences, and material values are surface things that serve as a wall between our souls.
One star reminds me that there is always hope.
And hope doesn’t come in political power or that new job or that skinny body or that big house.
Hope comes in the form of a child whose only message is that we should love one another, and be kind, and help each other, and stop judging each other.
So far, not so good.
We don’t have to find hope, we just have to join hands and hearts . . .
The single holiday moment that drives me to my proverbial knees is the sight of the citizens of Whoville, having been robbed of everything, standing in a circle around a Christmas Tree, holding hands and singing:
Welcome, welcome! Fah who rahmus!
Welcome, welcome! Dah who dahmus!
Christmas Day is in our grasp!
So long as we have hands to clasp!
Perhaps that’s why I cry when snowmen offer their carrot noses to the horses in the Wells Fargo commercial, and completely lose it when Clarence gets his wings in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Because I remember that we have hope in our grasp.
As long as we have hands to clasp.